Tag Archives: Daniel Pink

do good work

“Earning happiness means doing good and working, not speculating and being lazy. Laziness may look inviting, but only work gives you true satisfaction.”
― Anne Frank

How much of your time is spent doing work you really love to do?   How much of it is great work.  Great work is inspiring, engaging and energizing.   Great work is creative and fulfilling, time passes by quickly and the work feels effortless, flowing and satisfying.

How much time each day do you engage in work that is good?    This isn’t as creative as great work but it is work that uses your strengths and talents most of the time.   It may take a little bit of effort to get into the swing of the work but once you do, you can work with few breaks and are motivated by accomplishment.   It feels good to do good work.   Your days are pleasant, moderately inspiring and those around you notice that you seem to enjoy what you do.

Lastly there is the work that doesn’t fit who you are or what you want to do.   This is the kind of work that is drudgery that takes a lot of effort to engage in and do well.  It may suck the energy out of you and is difficult to do the best work that you are capable of.   You do the work because it is part of the job.   It isn’t rewarding and takes a considerable amount of effort to start and complete the work.  Those around you notice that you often do other things before starting in the work that doesn’t inspire you.    Other’s will know because you’ll tell them that you “need” to do this work and get it done.    You’ll likely wait to the last minute before starting and forget to check the work for accuracy.    This kind of work is just non-inspiring work for you.

How much time to you spend of each day doing Great work, Good work and non-inspired work?   Take the survey.

How do you think you’d feel if you could do more great work this year?   What would it take for you to do great work?

Why would you do great work?   Because there is a reason to do something great.  Take a look!

creativity … right brain thinking

“True intelligence operates silently. Stillness is where creativity and solutions to problems are found.” — Eckhart Tolle

Where do your best ideas come from?

Are you able to use your creative talents daily?    When do you use your creativity?

Creativity leads to innovation if action is taken and that is what thwarts many creative people, the inability to take action.    Having great ideas works when something becomes of them.   Perhaps you have tons of great ideas and they are carefully written in a book, the ideas are there but they aren’t going anywhere.  What would it take to take the best ideas and take action on them?

If you are thinking, “I’m not a creative thinker” then try to different approaches to solving problems.   For example Daniel Pink suggests that you give the problem to someone else to solve.   Gretchen Rubin the author of the “Happiness Project” has these suggestions to generate new ideas.

Some people just draw pictures and link those pictures to a central theme, or do what is popularly called “Mind Mapping“.    There are other brain storming methods that can be used to generate new ideas, ideas that can improve your life.    Visiting a book store can be a good way to look at things in a new way, new ideas and new thoughts can lead to your innovative spirit coming to life.

Some ideas to cultivate creative thoughts:

1. Invite some friends over for a creativity party.

2. Take a walk

3. Journal – and then reflect on what you wrote

4. Solve a problem for someone else

5. Play with some children .. let them solve a problem for you.

6. Take something apart blindfolded

7. Read a book you normally wouldn’t read

The idea is to shift you out of your comfort zone, your normal zone of thinking, so that you exercise a part of the brain you don’t normally use.   Flip things upside down, tackle the idea from a different point of view and see what happens.    Change the rules to a game, like Monopoly or Scrabble, what can you come up with?

Elizabeth Gilbert the author of “Eat, Pray, Love” talks about the creativity challenge …

What are your creativity challenges? What would spark a new idea? What would cause you to leap to action?

It’s too much

“The sheer availability of information… has launched a tsunami of seeking… at the same time, the information glut contributes to pervasive cynicism, fragmentation, and a sense of helplessness. ” Michael J. Gelb

It seems that more and more people are suffering from the effects of “too much”.   “Too much” information, too much work, too much busyness, too much stress, too much …

The “too much” symptoms look a lot like ADHD when you start peeling the onion a bit.    People start losing focus,  are unable to manage time effectively, forget simple things, and generally feel overwhelmed with their world.   The Wall Street Journal just published an article that talks about the fact that many people may be approaching some practical limits of the mind.

Executive function impairment which is thought to be the central issue in ADHD is now impacting a greater part of the population.   Recent ADHD statistics show that ADHD is rising in the population.    With the rapid increase of information (games, TV, video, internet, etc.) the ability for the brain to process all that information is resulting in stress and decreased brain function.

Looking at the ADHD statistics you can see that there is an increase in overall ADHD incidence.    The rate of increase of ADHD could be tied to many factors but one thing that is probably the most pressing is the rate of information growth and information saturation in the lives of young people.

While the appearance of ADHD seems to be growing along with the growth of information it could also be tied to a  linear logical system of education where the creative and physical aspects of education are being eliminated.   When executive memory function starts decreasing there is a rise in negative behaviors in teenagers and young adults.   Finding ways to reduce brain overload is going to be critical as we move towards a more information rich society.

In children executive memory function is increased  by taking time to engage in physical and creative arts.    It is precisely the things that are being pulled out of the education system marginalizing more and more children.  If there was a resurgence of arts and physical activity there would be a wholesale improvement in the education system.

Take this a step further and we see adults being inundated by information and not having the time to take a break from the onslaught of data.    Moving away from strict linear logical work would have great benefits.

What do you do?

1. Take creativity breaks

2. Exercise and increase your oxygen uptake.

3. Work on exercises that focus on short term memory work.

As the influx of information increases the symptoms of ADHD will likely increase as the more right brained thinkers slip under the tide of more information.   The rate of information growth isn’t going to stop it is only going to increase and in order for children and adults to thrive in this new age more focus and more energy should be applied to practicing things that increase the executive memory function.

Paul Saffo noted that, “Point of view” is that quintessentially human solution to information overload, an intuitive process of reducing things to an essential relevant and manageable minimum.  In a world of hyper abundant content, point of view will become the scarcest of resources.”

What do you think?  Are we teetering on the edge of information overload?  Are we damaging the next generation of leaders by removing the arts and physical activity from our education process?   What would you do?

 

motivation – reward and punishment

Step back to 1949, to a lab where Rhesus monkeys were given some puzzles to solve.    Within a short time the monkeys had solved the puzzle which was very surprising to the experimenters.   Why would monkeys take upon a task and try to solve it when there was no punishment or reward mechanism in place to motivate them?

In the early 1900’s Fredrick Taylor was hired to measure human performance and as a result a rewards/punishment model has been the most popular model for motivating people.   Today scores of organizations roll out performance evaluations to gage how well the workers are doing.   Not doing so well may mean no raise or a quick departure from the organization.   The top performers are richly rewarded with opportunity, cash and even job security.   For routine work perhaps the model of reward and punishment is at best a workable solution.   For today’s service economy and the competitive need to stay ahead of the competition a new model must be put in place.

In 1949 Henry Harlow discovered that Rhesus monkeys were intrinsically motivated to solve the puzzle.  In fact when rewarded their performance (ability to solve the puzzle) decreased.   It is as if the reward became an expectation thereby reducing the creative potential of the monkey. 

People, creative people are motivated by the magnitude of the problem, the ability to make a difference and a personal desire to solve problems.   The management methods or reward and punishment models diminish the effectiveness of today’s working adult.   Top leaders should recognize the shift and change their methods of managing workers in the new economy.

What motivates you?   Are you motivated by rewards and punishment?

From Daniel Pink’s book Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us.